The only rule on Twitter is if you have a thought, you must tweet it. This is the sole explanation for a recent viral tweet questioning what young adults without kids plan to do after they turn 40 years old. “Millennials who are very cavalier about not having children are in for a shock when they enter their 40s & realize life is only half over,” wrote Shane Morris, a podcast host and resident millennial for the Christian nonprofit Colson Center. “What do you do at that point? Keep trying to be sexy & have fun? I expect to see a lot of sadness & confusion about what to do at that point.”
Hmmm, what do you do at that point, millennials? Start an Instagram for your avocado toast? Sort your student-loan providers into Hogwarts houses? Stop fighting the inevitable and create a Pinterest board for your cheugy cemetery plot? “Without the natural connections and belonging that literally emerge from marriage and fertility, the latter years become very cold and lonely,” Morris continued in his tweet. “Those ‘Friendsgivings’ will get old, quickly.” Yes, just like you, you withering crone, your friendly gatherings will grow old and tired. How does one foster meaningful connections and have relationships with people other than their spouse or offspring? Can you even have friends that aren’t legally bound to you in some capacity??
Since his tweet gained attention, Morris has issued a call for people to send him “the most insane/unhinged/revealing replies to that millennial childlessness tweet (esp from blue checks).” That too has appeared to backfire, as most of the replies are screenshots of Morris’s own tweets.
The sad fact is there aren’t any examples of people over 40 who live a happy, fulfilling life without kids. Fortunately, I am still a spry and virile (though currently childless) 31-year-old. Thus, I have a few years left to keep trying to be sexy and have fun. (As we all know, you cannot be sexy or have fun after age 40.) So, I have devised a few answers about what to do once you reach that godforsaken point.
Use your disposable income to buy a houseboat. Time to be irresponsible with your savings, you selfish wench! Sell your belongings and live in the middle of the ocean where there’s no internet or any viral tweets. Make friends with some dolphins. Tell them about Instagram Reels. Stare into the sun until you are physically unable to look at a screen ever again.
Travel. Unfortunately, as a childless adult, there are very few places you can go. Ball pits and bouncy houses are out of the question. So are school-choir concerts, parent-teacher conferences, and art-museum field trips where you have to tell someone else’s fifth-grader to stop trying to lick the statues’ feet. After that, what places are left? The DMV?? Perhaps you can spend some time there.
Think about why you didn’t have kids. With all that extra time you have because you didn’t have kids, you’ve now freed your schedule up for the next best thing: thinking about why you didn’t have kids! Was it economic instability? The ever-worsening climate crisis? Post-pandemic stories from parents? Other priorities? Infertility? The simple fact that you didn’t want to and don’t owe an explanation to anyone? Are you sure it’s not the thing about trying to be sexy? Speaking of which …
Be ugly and have a bad time. Your time for being sexy is over! You are now entering your hideous and grotesque era. No crop tops and duck lips! Stop doing hygiene! Only terrible vibes and tasteless outfits from here on out.
In the meantime, enjoy those Friendsgivings and whatever else it is that childless adults do.